The Pilgrim Monument is the first thing you see when you reach Provincetown, whether you come by land, sea, or air. The Monument, which stands at 252 feet tall, celebrates the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims and beyond. It is the United States’ tallest all-granite edifice.
Before sailing to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, the Pilgrims spent five weeks exploring Cape Cod. The Pilgrims decided not to set foot on land until the Mayflower Compact was prepared and signed. This was despite spending weeks at sea. The Mayflower Compact is regarded as one of the founding documents of American democracy, with some even claiming it to be the world’s first written constitution. While the ship was docked in Provincetown Harbor, the document was signed.
Over 150 entries were entered in a contest to build a structure to commemorate the Pilgrims’ landing. The winning design, by Boston architect Willard T. Sears, was inspired by Agostino and Agnolo da Siena’s Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy, which was completed in 1309. President Theodore Roosevelt officiated at the cornerstone laying ceremony on August 20, 1907. President William H. Taft dedicated the monument on August 5, 1910, following its completion.
The Town of Provincetown deeded High Pole Hill to the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association in 1902 to be utilized as a site for the monument. Over 150 entries were entered in a contest to build a structure to commemorate the Pilgrims’ landing. The winning design, by Boston architect Willard T. Sears, was inspired by Agostino and Agnolo da Siena’s Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy, which was completed in 1309. On August 20, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt presided over the cornerstone laying ceremony. Following its completion, President William H. Taft dedicated the monument on August 5, 1910.
Tourists come to Provincetown from all over the world to climb the monument and see the Provincetown Museum. The museum pays homage to Provincetown’s rich and storied maritime past, while the monument honors the Pilgrims. Provincetown people are quite proud of the tower. Annually, Christmas lights are strung from the top of the monument to its base and ignited with much fanfare in November. It is lit every night until January.
Admission to both the monument and the museum does come with a fee. Adults are $18, seniors/teens are $14, children are $8, and children under 3 are free. The museum is open year-round from Wednesday to Monday from 10am-5pm.
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- Year completed: 1910
- Dedicated to: The first landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in Provincetown on November 11, 1620
- Artist: Willard Thomas Sears
- Height: 252 ft 7.5 in
- Material: Granite from Stonington, Maine
- Address: 1 High Pole Hill Rd
- Town: Provincetown
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: Lat 42.05220 Lng -70.18869
- Parking notes: There are over 50 parking spots located at the 1 High Pole Hill Rd Parking Lot located right next to the monument. Parking costs $15 in the summer and is free in the off-season.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE
External Website: https://www.pilgrim-monument.org/
Brent Tupper –